Chennai, Feb 7 (PTI) Days after the Madras High Court advised authorities not to put a roaming jumbo to any discomfort, an animal rights body Thursday urged the state government to keep ‘Chinnathambi’ in the tusker’s natural forest home.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India also advised the government to adopt only humane and scientific methods to protect crops and villages or to translocate the animal to another forested area, if necessary.
PETA said compassionate methods such as planting chillies around farm perimeters can be adopted while dealing with human-elephant conflict, citing the example of farmers in Africa dealing with such problems.
The animal rights body also urged the government to incorporate adequate town planning as an anecdote to the increasing encounters between elephants and humans.
Some humane methods for managing human-elephant conflicts include restoring elephants’ habitats, strengthening anti-poaching efforts, and working with villages located in critical elephant corridors, PETA said in a statement.
“In Africa, farmers have successfully kept elephants away from crops by planting chillies around farm perimeters,” it said, adding the body has also written to the State forest department on this.
The court recently sought response from the principal conservator of forests by February 11 to a plea seeking a direction to prevent authorities from capturing, taming, tranquilising or harming ‘Chinnathambi’ which has been venturing into human habitats.
In an interim order, the court said the jumbo should not, in anyway, be put through any physical discomfort.
The 25-year-old jumbo fitted with a radio-collar was translocated from the outskirts of Coimbatore to Varagaliar by forest department personnel on January 25, but within days, it ventured into human habitations again.
It was translocated following complaints from residents about the elephant destroying crops and damaging houses for the last seven months.
PETA said it was relieved to read that the government did not plan to turn ‘Chinnathambi’ into a ‘kumki’ (tamed elephant) and urged authorities to adopt humane methods to protect crops.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.